John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation

Belger Arts Center
Press Release

Bird Trap Quilt (Detail) by Pecolia Warner
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Artist: Pecolia Warner
Artist’s Residence: Yazoo City, Mississippi
Title of Quilt: "Bird Trap Quilt" (detail)
Date: 1982
Media: Mixed media textile
Size: 83 in. x 68 in.
Image Courtesy of Maude Wahlman

Ali by Sun Smith-Foret
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Artist: Sun Smith-Foret
Artist’s residence: Elsah, IL
Title: "Ali" (detail)
Date: 2008
Media: Mixed media textile
Size: 86 in. x 86 in.
Image Courtesy of Sun Smith-Foret

For immediate release – July 11, 2008

KANSAS CITY, MO – What do box-office sensation Will Smith and Yazoo City quilt maker Pecolia Warner have in common? Did Jack Nicholson make a movie with Vincent Minnelli? Come to the Belger Arts Center and find out!  Two exhibits, “Inspiration: African-America Quilts from the Collection of Maude Wahlman,” and “Interpretation: Silver Screen Quilts by Sun Smith-Foret” both curated by Christina Wahlman will run through October 3, 2008.

Dr. Maude Wahlman has been collecting African and African-American art for several decades and is the author of “Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts.” She is currently the Director of the Global Arts Initiative at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Christina Wahlman is her daughter. This exhibit features 14 quilts, many of which have been exhibited in arts venues across America, beginning with the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN.

Sun Smith-Foret first became interested in code-bearing imagery in African-American quilts through the collection of Dr. Wahlman. After constructing quilts using classic patterns, Smith-Foret decorates with imagery and text from popular American movies. Smith-Foret says, “Like movies, quilts are made up from bits and pieces, tiny acts of accident and choice, of assembly, of repeated additions and edits until there is a wrap.”

“Silver Screen Quilts” features titles such as “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, “Taxi Driver/Raging Bull”, and “Bamboozled.” There is also a large scale quilt installation based on several Westerns made specifically for this exhibit.  There are more than 40 quilts in this exhibit.

* See "Belger Arts Center Statement" below (included as part of press release).

Belger Arts Center Statement.

The Belger Arts Center is located at 2100 Walnut Street, one block east of Main Street, in the Belger Cartage Service building. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday from noon – 4 pm, non-holiday First Fridays from 10 am – 9 pm, and by appointment.

The office for the Belger Arts Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4:30 pm. For more information please visit or contact Gallery Assistant Mo Dickens at 816-474-3250, email:

Since March of 2000 the Belger Arts Center has hosted more than 30 exhibitions featuring a variety of media including fiber, ceramics, painting, sculpture, digital projections, and innovative design. More than 50,000 visitors have attended exhibits and other events at the Belger Arts Center.


  The Belger Arts Center - 2100 Walnut, 3rd Floor - Kansas City, MO 64108 - Office: (816) 474-3250  
  The Belger Arts Center is located on the 1st & 3rd floors at 2100 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO in the Crossroads Arts District.
Open Wed-Thur-Fridays 10am-4pm & Saturdays Noon-4pm or by appointment. Open "First Fridays" of each month until 9pm.
Exhibition is always free and open to the public. Please call to schedule tours for groups 10 or more.

 © 2004-2009 Belger Foundation : Website donated Nathan Sharfi 2004. Updated by: Staff 2005,06, Vetter 2007, Sharfi 2004-05,08,09.